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tint2 is a simple, unobtrusive and light panel for Xorg. It can be configured to include a system tray, a task list, a battery monitor and more. Its look is configurable and it only has few dependencies, making it ideal for window managers like Openbox, that do not come with a panel.


Install the tint2 package.


tint2 has a configuration file in ~/.config/tint2/tint2rc. A skeleton configuration file with the default settings is created the first time you run tint2. You can then change this file to your liking. Full documentation on how to configure tint2 is found here. You can configure the fonts, colors, looks, location and more in this file. The tint2 package also contains a GUI configuration tool which can be launched with tint2conf.

Application launchers

With version 0.12, it has become possible to add application launchers to tint2. It is necessary to add the following configuration options to your tint2 configuration file:

Under #Panel:

# Panel
panel_items = LTSBC

And under the new section #Launchers:

# Launchers
launcher_icon_theme = LinuxLex-8
launcher_padding = 5 0 10
launcher_background_id = 9
launcher_icon_size = 85
launcher_item_app = /some/where/application.desktop
launcher_item_app = /some/where/anotherapplication.desktop

panel_items is a new configuration option which defines which items tint2 shows and in what order:

shows the Launcher
shows the Taskbar
shows the Systray (also called notification area)
shows the Battery status
shows the Clock
adds an extensible spacer (freespace). You can specify more than one. Has no effect if `T` is also present. (since 0.12)
adds an executor plugin. You can specify more than one. (since 0.12.4)
adds a push button. You can specify more than one. (since 0.14)
adds a separator. You can specify more than one. (since 0.13.0)

Applications menu in Openbox

Since version 0.12, you have the ability to create launchers. Unfortunately, tint2 does not support nested menus yet, so there is no native function to enable an applications menu. This section describes a way to create a launcher for Openbox.

Besides tint2 and Openbox, install the xdotool package. Next, create a keybinding for opening the Openbox menu:

 <!-- Keybinding for opening OpenBox menu -->
 <keybind key="C-A-space">
   <action name="ShowMenu"><menu>root-menu</menu></action>

This will set Ctrl+Alt+Space to open the root-menu (this is the menu that opens when you right-click the desktop). You can change root-menu to any menu-id that you have defined in ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml. Next we need to make that keybinding into a .desktop file with xdotool. First test that your keybind works with:

$ xdotool key ctrl+alt+space

If the menu you chose pops up under your mouse cursor, you have done it right! Now create a open-openbox-menu.desktop file inside the ~/.local/share/applications directory. Add the line Exec=xdotool key ctrl+alt+space where Ctrl+Alt+Space are your chosen key combinations. Open your new open-openbox-menu.desktop file from your file manager and, once again, you should see the menu appear under your cursor. Now just add this to tint2 as a launcher, and you have your Openbox Applications Menu as a launcher for tint2. If you need to place the menu at a fixed position, you can use xdotool mousemove x y. You can create a script and reference it in open-openbox-menu.desktop since it involves two commands.

See Openbox Menus for further help on creating your own menu to use here, and menumaker to generate a nice full menu.xml for most (possibly all) of your installed programs.

Since version 0.14, you have the ability to create buttons. Just add "xdotool key ctrl+alt+space" string from example above to button key action you want to be start menu action.

Volume control

tint2 does not come with a volume control applet. See List of applications/Multimedia#Volume control.

Running tint2


You can run tint2 by simply typing the command:

$ tint2

If you want to run tint2 when starting Openbox, you will need to edit ~/.config/openbox/autostart and add the following line:

tint2 &


In GNOME, the Activities view has replaced the bottom panel and taskbar. To use tint2 in its place, run

$ gnome-session-properties

and add /usr/bin/tint2 as an application to run on start-up. The next time GNOME starts, tint2 will run automatically.


In i3, to use tint2 as a replacement for i3status, append the following line to end of the i3 configuration file:

exec --no-startup-id tint2

and comment out or remove any section like bar{status_command i3status} from the same file.

Multiple panels

Multiple tint2 panels can be simultaneously running by executing tint2 with different configuration files:

tint2 -c path/to/first/config/file
tint2 -c path/to/second/config/file

Enabling transparency

tint2 supports both fake and real transparency. Which one is used is regulated by the disable_transparency option in the tint2rc configuration file.

If you want to completely disable transparency you need to use disable_transparency = 1 and set the panel background opacity to 100. Eg:

 background_color = #000000 100

Fake transparency

For fake transparency you need to set disable_transparency = 1.

Fake transparency captures a portion of the desktop background and uses that as the panel background. Because of that it is important to set the background image before tint2 is activated. A startup script example for Openbox could be (using Feh for the background):

feh --randomize --no-fehbg --bg-fill ~/Pictures/wallpapers/
(sleep 1 && tint2) &

Real transparency

For real transparency you need to activate a compositor like picom first and set disable_transparency = 0.

The opacity is regulated by the second parameter of the background_color property in the tint2 configuration file.

If you are making changes on the fly, you may need to restart tint2 for the transparency to take effect.


To force tint2 to stay on top of the application (overlay), you need to set the panel_layer option appropriately. This can be helpful when you switch from a fullscreen window to a normal application using Alt+Tab. There is a discussion on this at Crunchbang Forum

 panel_layer = top
 strut_policy = follow_size

Third party extensions

It is also possible to extend tint2 with other applications. To add third party extensions, check the Applets section of official Wiki.

See also